MILWAUKEE — A new study shows Milwaukee has jobs and has made strides, but still has some challenges.
The Milwaukee Metropolitan Association of Commerce (MMAC) announced progress on diverse hiring and advancement in the city on Tuesday.
Between 120 employers participating in MMAC’s Region Of Choice (ROC) initiative, there has been a 23 percent increase in people of color taking on management positions since 2018.
“This was a commitment companies made two years ago. We were able to give updated information that we are on track to meet and exceed the goals that we met,” said Corry Joe Biddle, VP of Community Affairs.
It’s good news, but the study also shed some light on areas to improve.
Two-thousand managers across the 120 ROC companies were asked two questions. First, would they recommend their company as a place to work and second, would they recommend metro Milwaukee as a place to live.
"There was a disparity between white managers, Hispanic and Black managers," said Biddle.
The data is based on a net promoter score. All managers viewed their jobs favorably, but white managers did more than managers of color.
When it comes to recommending Metro Milwaukee, however, white managers produced a net promoter score of 23, Hispanics of 6, but Black managers attributed a -37 net promoter score.
“It’s always dangerous to make these strict racial comparisons, but when the numbers are this stark they do jump out at you,” said Lafayatte Crump, City of Milwaukee’s Commissioner of City Development.
Crump said the numbers are jaw-dropping.
“These are people working for some of the most successful and impactful companies and organizations in our community and if the people who have the opportunity to work at companies like these, are not thrilled and telling someone ‘this is where you want to be.’ Imagine what the feeling is like for a broader segment of the community,” Crump said.
Biddle said seeing this reality is an opportunity for Milwaukee to continue its growth.
“All these leaders, all the community organizations that really work hard to do this work are going to have to get with employers to really work hard to make sure the community experience is positive for everybody here,” she said.